Monday, January 26, 2015

#83 THESE HANDS - Jeff Deyo

I'm sure a lot of you know who Jeff Deyo is, but I'm also sure some of you don't know the whole story, so here's your little Jeff Deyo primer. Jeff Deyo first came to prominence in 1999 as the lead singer for the wildly popular Sonicflood, so his story and the story of Sonicflood are forever linked.

Sonicflood's self-titled debut album was THE perfect album for the time, and really helped usher in the birth of modern worship. When it came out, I honestly thought at the time that Sonicflood was the future of worship music. Sonicflood uniquely (at the time) took older, but still modern, worship standards and made them instant worship/rock classics.

Their debut album put new, exciting twists on great songs like I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, I Want To Know You (In the Secret), Holiness (Take My Life), and Open The Eyes of My Heart. In late 1999/early 2000 literally every youth group in America was doing these songs. And then the trouble struck.

You see, as often happens in bands, there was a falling out. The simple story is that a new guy came in late for the first album, and then convinced most of the band to 'change the direction' the band was going in away from the modern worship type stuff that had made them such a success. Jeff Deyo did not agree with this and was asked to leave the band in 2000.

The irony of this whole mess was that Jeff Deyo warned the rest of Sonicflood about how this divisiveness was going to fester for the band, but they got rid of him anyway. And here's probably one of the most amazing trivia facts in all of modern worship history: By the time the second Sonicflood album came out, NONE of the 4 guys that appeared on the back cover of the first album were still with the band. Amazing.

Anyway, that's the Jeff Deyo saga. If you absolutely love Sonicflood's debut album, as I do, then hear when I say that I've always considered Jeff Deyo's solo music as the extension of that first album, not the band that only had the name Sonicflood, but had none of the original members or original vision.

Above on the left is Sonicflood's first album after Jeff Deyo left. Once again, this album had NONE of the original members on it. On the right is Jeff Deyo's first solo album after he left Sonicflood. I bought both of these albums, and except for the title track Resonate, I don't remember one other song from the Sonicflood album. Jeff Deyo's Saturate, however, was an amazing album with several great tracks. As a matter of fact: 

Click here: Andy's Extras for another great track from Jeff Deyo's Saturate.

So, you may ask, what does this have to do with song #83 on the countdown, These Hands? Well, in the period between when Jeff Deyo left Sonicflood and when he put out his first album, Jeff Deyo was contacted by Max Lucado to do a song for Max Lucado's He Chose The Nails CD. Jeff apparently played These Hands for them over the phone and it was immediately accepted, and it appeared as the album's closing track.

Jeff Deyo eventually put These Hands on his second album, entitled Light. Light is another great album, but the version of These Hands isn't anywhere as good as the original. FUN FACT: I actually illegally downloaded the original version, and it's still the one that I own and play on my iPod. But, I figure I later bought the Light album, so technically I paid for the song eventually (Also, my spiritual gift is justification - I can justify any bad behavior).

Is is REALLY stealing if you like, really really want something??
But even though that was 15 years ago, to this day These Hands remains one of my all-time favorites. If I was doing an Andy's Favorites list instead of a top 100 list, this song would be much, much higher. I think the fact that it started as an add-on song to a non-worship compilation CD hinders it from being remembered by the masses as an all-time great, but I'm putting it on here anyway.

And, I searched all of youtube, vimeo, myvideo, etc to try to find a video with the orignial version of this song, and I had no luck. So, I had to take my illegally acquired version and used it to make up a video for the song. If that bothers your sensibilities, than proceed no further. However, those of you who were youth during my time in Juniata County will almost certainly remember this one, because I did it a lot. Enjoy:

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